2003 March 24

(entry last updated: 2003-03-24 14:12:14)

  • Jenny Levine, after reading about Utah’s claims, speculates about how libraries might gain from the CD price collusion settlement.

  • Denise Howell has some enticing quotes, with a decidedly digital twist, from Steve Martin’s Academy Awards comments.

  • The first of Donna Wentworth’s posts from the Rio/Brazil ILAW sessions has started – note that there will be webcasts of some sessions.

  • Ed Felten’s blog is back! Read about the reasons for the problem here

  • Mark Mulligan at Jupiter Research discusses the Sony schism between the entertainment and electronics division:

    Both Sony Music and Sony Electronics always emphasise their independence, but the simple fact is that Sony Electronics cannot expect to have a profitable music division if the impact of piracy (both online and offline) is allowed to continue unabated, let alone with tacit support from their own products.

    Do Sony Electronics even care? Well I am sure they do to some extent, but the business case for Sony Music as provider of software for Sony Electronics products is perhaps less string than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The CD boom has subsided from a label perspective but successfully created a global market for CD players. Home entertainment technology is evolving in a far more multifunctional direction. Readers of Michael Gartenberg’s blog will be very familiar with digital ubiquity and the same principle certainly applies for music entertainment: devices and formats are becoming more focused on multiple layers of connectivity and interactivity. DVD and computer game sales are challenging the hegemony of CD sales in music retailers and home entertainment systems allow the user to interact with a far wider range of entertainment than a music CD.

    This is not say that Sony Music does not have a role in the Sony picture, simply that it’s importance has lessened as music has become less central to home entertainment.

    Or, it may mean that Sony will be the first to solve the puzzle and break the assumption in the opening paragraph of this quote – that supporting full technical capability in consumer electronics devices need not mean destruction of the music business – just the current music business model.

  • SiliconValley.com posts an article suggesting that Streamwaves is going to be a name to watch.

    Tribble says music lovers are flocking to his service because it holds several key advantages over competitors such as Listen.com and MusicMatch Jukebox.

    First, users don’t have to download or install any software. “People don’t want to mess with a program,” Tribble says. “We’re giving them a straightforward way of listening right from the browser.”

    And it is one of the few services that is Macintosh-friendly. In fact, the company is luring Mac users with a 10 percent discount on monthly subscription costs, plus an additional 5 percent discount for members of Mac user groups.

    Second, access is portable to any Internet-connected computer. Users can go to the Web site to hook into their playlists and stored music selections from anywhere in the world.

    Third, the library being assembled for Streamwaves includes entire albums, not just the tracks getting radio play, from artists such as Eminem, Alan Jackson, Bon Jovi, Santana, Sheryl Crow, Nelly and Natalie Cole.

    Finally, because of the way it has configured its servers, the service works well over dial-up Internet connections. You don’t need a broadband account for high-quality sound.

  • The NY Times discusses the Dixie Chicks backlash and the overall climate for celebrity advocacy.

  • As one demonstration of the prevalence of file sharing (and the increasingly broad demographic employing this technology), the New York Times notes that the AARP (the renamed American Association of Retired Persons) is placing ads on KaZaA.

  • The Amazon business method patent application on web space advertising bids gets some Wired ink, speculating about Amazon’s motives in the face of competition and previous art. This old Forbes article is a pertinent now as it was then.

  • Wired has more information on the SonicBlue bankruptcy:

    “The availability of these features offended a lot of major media companies,” said Adi Kishore, an analyst with the Yankee Group. Sonicblue “has been caught in an expensive legal battle with companies with huge resources.”

    “I think (Sonicblue) put a lot of resources behind ReplayTV, and that’s not a product that has been successful in the market,” he said. In an effort to drive sales, Sonicblue focused on features like ad skipping and file sharing.

    “I think they took this antagonistic approach (to advertisers and mainstream media companies) because they thought it would spur consumer adoption,” Kishore said. “They thought these features would really drive sales, but that strategy didn’t work out.”

  • BBSpot shows that sometimes the old tried and true methods can be applied to new problems – like assessing whether a computer is hosting illegal MP3s.

  • Today’s UserFriendly (wait to get past the ad/or subscribe) is another take on alienation online.